“I got, finally, the hands I always wanted. Hands just like the ones Tyrone taunted me with all those years ago.

It’s been twenty-seven years since I walked into the Dreadnaught kitchen with my hair halfway down my back, a bad attitude, and a marginal desire to maybe do a little work in return for money. Twenty-six years since my humiliation at Mario’s when I looked up at Tyrone’s mightily abused claws and decided I wanted a pair like that. I don’t know who said that every man, at fifty, gets the face they deserve, but I certainly got the hands I deserve. And I’ve got a few years to go yet.

Lying in bed and smoking my sixth or seventh cigarette of the morning, I’m wondering what the hell I’m going to do today.

I’ve left a lot of destruction in my wake, and closed a hell of a lot of restaurants. I don’t know what happened to many of my early owners, whether they’re back pulling teeth for a living, or whether they still cling to the dream, trying to get some other operation off the ground, trying to stay ahead of their latest creditors, the latest unforgiving developments of market forces and broken equipment, unreliable cooks and menacing moneylenders. I don’t know. I know I didn’t do the best job for some of them, though I did the best I could have done-at the time.

I’ll be right here. Until they drag me off the line. I’m not going anywhere. I hope. It’s been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”